Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Josh Gottheimer

MoveOn supporters attend a "Hold The Line To Build Back Better" rally at the office of Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) on September 27, 2021 in Glen Rock, New Jersey. (Photo: Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for MoveOn)

'Right > Rushed,' Say Progressives as Conservative Dems Attack Over Delayed Infrastructure Vote

"The only faction trying to destroy the president's agenda is the Problem Solvers Caucus. The Progressive Caucus—and the Democratic caucus—is trying to pass the president's agenda."

Brett Wilkins

House progressives hit back Friday night after right-wing Democrats accused them of trying to derail President Joe Biden's Build Back Better agenda by vowing to withhold support for the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill until after the more ambitious $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package is passed.

"96% of Democrats agree on how we deliver the president's entire Build Back Better agenda. A few conservative Democrats are standing in our way of delivering transformational change to families across America."

After House Democratic leadership delayed a scheduled vote on the infrastructure bill, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, issued a statement Friday evening claiming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) broke a promise to bring the infrastructure bill to a vote this week and accusing members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus of obstruction.

"It's deeply regrettable that Speaker Pelosi breached her firm, public commitment to members of Congress and the American people to hold a vote and to pass the once-in-a-century bipartisan infrastructure bill on or before September 27," Gottheimer said.

"Along with a group of members, I've been working around the clock to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill," he continued. "But a small far-left faction of the House of Representatives undermined that agreement and blocked a critical vote on the president's historic bipartisan infrastructure bill."

"We cannot let this small faction on the far left... destroy the president's agenda," Gottheimer added.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), also a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, released a statement accusing Pelosi of delaying the infrastructure bill vote "because some of my Democratic colleagues, in a misguided effort to gain 'leverage' over their fellow Democrats in the negotiations on the separate Build Back Better Act, have threatened to vote against a very good infrastructure bill."

Responding to Gottheimer's statement, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asserted that Pelosi "didn't break any promises."

Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) tweeted, "What an odd way of saying 'I'm embarrassed by my failed attempt to force an arbitrary deadline in direct defiance of the speaker's originally stated plan. I will stop taking the American people hostage moving forward.'"

"Let's be clear," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), "96% of Democrats agree on how we deliver the president's entire Build Back Better agenda. A few conservative Democrats are standing in our way of delivering transformational change to families across America."

Progressive observers also pushed back against Gottheimer and Murphy, with some noting that they are two of the most corporate-friendly House Democrats.

"We cannot allow the 'far left' to destroy the president's agenda, claims private equity favorite Rep. Gottheimer, conveniently ignoring the fact that the president himself has come out today against Gottheimer's position and in favor of the 'far left' of the party," tweeted MSNBC's Mehdi Hasan.

More Perfect Union's Max Berger tweeted: "The only faction trying to destroy the president's agenda is the Problem Solvers Caucus. The Progressive Caucus—and the Democratic caucus—is trying to pass the president's agenda."

Meanwhile, House progressives drew praise Saturday for holding the line and insisting the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better budget reconciliation package—which contains sweeping social welfare and climate provisions—is passed before the infrastructure bill.

"Now is the time to stand with working families and take on the greed of pharma, the fossil fuel industry, and the billionaire class," tweeted Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Sanders Says Senate Bill 'Nowhere Near' Enough as Dems, GOP Tank His Amendments

The Vermont senator nevertheless supported final passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, calling it "a step forward" on climate and drug prices.

Jake Johnson ·


Senate Barely Approves Scaled Back Legislation on Climate, Taxes, Healthcare

But thanks to Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), there was a huge, last-minute win for the private equity and hedge fund industries

Common Dreams staff ·


'What the Hell is Wrong With Them': GOP Senators Kill $35 Cap on Insulin

'Republicans told millions of Americans who use insulin to go to hell.'

Common Dreams staff ·


World Faces 'Loaded Gun' on Hiroshima's 77th Anniversary

“We must ask: What have we learned from the mushroom cloud that swelled above this city?”

Common Dreams staff ·


'Extremely Concerned': Shelling of Europe's Biggest Nuclear Power Plant More Worrying Than Chernobyl

Ukraine said parts of the facility were "seriously damaged" by Russian military strikes.

Common Dreams staff ·

Common Dreams Logo